If you’ve been struggling with weight loss lately, it’s possible you could be suffering from one or more internal health problems preventing you from meeting your goals. While most people attribute weight gain and obesity to lack of exercise and poor nutrition, many fail to realize there are numerous other factors that can contribute to weight gain. For example, certain types of medications can cause you to retain water and gain weight, whereas foods that contain additives and chemicals can throw your hormones off-balance and trigger weight gain.
Some may even attribute their weight-loss problems to genetics or a family history of obesity, but it’s actually what you do throughout the course of your lifetime that determines your risk for certain health problems. For example, if most of your immediate family is overweight, you can lower your risk for obesity by making healthier nutrition choices and swapping television time for exercise.
The organs in your body work together to keep you healthy, vibrant, and energetic, which means that if one of your organs isn’t working as optimally as it should, you run the risk for health problems, including weight gain.
Here are three internal health factors that could be hindering your weight-loss efforts.
1. Liver problems
Your liver is responsible for more 600 metabolic functions in your body. Your liver creates bile so your body can effectively break down fats and nitrates, and has the ability to break down hormones so they can play their respective roles throughout the rest of your body. Your liver also filters chemicals such as drugs and alcohol from your blood, and makes a series of blood proteins and enzymes your body needs to function optimally. If your liver is being affected by unhealthy lifestyle choices, then you may experience setbacks with weight loss.
Keep your liver in optimal health by lowering your alcohol intake, drinking plenty of water, exercising regularly, eating healthy foods high in nutrition, and staying away from medications that can cause harm to the liver. Drinking water with lemon juice may also help boost your liver function.
2. Adrenal problems
The adrenals are small glands located above your kidneys that secrete hormones responsible for regulating the way your body responds to stress. These very hormones, which are adrenaline, cortisol, and epinephrine, can determine how your body handles food, and decide whether food should be burned as energy or stored as fat. As long as you make healthy food choices in times of stress, your body will burn these sources as energy; loading your body with desserts or fast food could result in your body storing these foods as fat.
In most cases, adrenal problems are often caused by factors such as long-term stress, poor nutrition, and exposure to environmental toxins and chemicals. Lower your risk for adrenal problems by learning how to manage stress effectively, practicing good nutrition, and staying away from using plastic containers, makeup, and skin care products that contain free radicals.
3. Thyroid problems
Your thyroid is located at the center of your throat and produces hormones that help regulate body temperature, which in turn, allows you to burn energy efficiently. If you experience hormonal imbalance due to poor nutrition, exposure to free radicals, lack of exercise, or lack of sleep, your thyroid hormones will prevent your body from effectively burning fat. Some individuals tend to blame thyroid problems for weight gain, but in fact, weight gain is most likely triggering thyroid problems, especially if you don’t exercise, don’t get enough sleep, and don’t consume healthy, nutritious foods.
To help regulate your thyroid hormones and function, aim to get at least eight hours of sleep per night, increase your intake of healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables, drink more water, and exercise regularly.